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American Society for Microbiology
Animal Health Microbiology Division Z
Annual Business Meeting, May 20, 2002


Chair: Dr. Bob Walker

Chair-Elect: Dr. Eileen Thacker

Division Advisor (Immediate Past-Chair): Dr. Tom Shryock

The meeting was called to order by Dr. Walker at 11:00 AM in the presence of approximately 25 attendees. Dr. Walker acknowledged the contributions of Drs. Bolin and Brown for the Division Z Symposium held just prior to the business meeting. Dr. Walker introduced the Division leadership.  This included Eileen Thacker as Chair-Elect, 2002, Jeff Gray, Chair-Elect 2003, Tom Shryock, Division Advisor, Carole Bolin as Division Councilor and Nancy Cornick as Alternate Councilor.  He also introduced  Dr. Susan West (Division Group II Councilor) and Dr. Roy Curtiss (CPC Member).

Membership of Division Z was estimated to be approximately 440 primary members for 2002. The 2002 meeting had 71 submitted abstracts, with a total of 56 accepted after "swaps" and non-accepted abstracts were tallied.

Old Business

Dr. West informed the group of new wording in the Scope section of Infection and Immunity. The new wording will accommodate animal health and veterinary microbiology manuscripts. Case reports, etc., will not be considered.

Dr. Curtiss updated the group that the Publications Board is exploring the use and citation of NCCLS methods or other standards within manuscripts.

Dr. Shryock updated the group that no progress has been made with respect to the development of a list-serv; in spite of the fact that ASM does provide resources to Divisions to enable them to develop them. A lack of an identified individual who would assume responsibility for a list-serv was cited as a major impediment.

New Business

Dr. Walker informed the group that funding and timing issues precluded the arrangement of a Division Z Mixer. However, now that sufficient carryover funds are in the Division Z account, arrangements for 2003 can be made. Dr. Thacker will begin contact with sponsors later this year to ensure that additional funds can be collected for carry over for the following year.

A call for topics for Division Z symposia topics was issued.   Division Z will have two symposia at the 2003 ASM.  In addition, Division Z is discussing the possibility of co-convening one symposium with Division A and a second with Division G. 

It was announced that abstracts for 2003 would be via web-based submission only; the deadline for Division Z is December 11, 2002. This year, as with last year, the Call for Abstracts will list the content expected in a submitted abstract.  In evaluating the abstracts the division leadership relies heavily on these instructions to the authors and the  complimentary criteria listed in the Division Officer's Handbook.

An issue of concern regarding the abstract review process was raised by Dr. John Maurer. Dr. Maurer questioned the transparency and fairness of the process used to accept or not accept abstracts, stating that some accepted abstracts had deficiencies whereas he was aware of a non-accepted abstract that had none. Dr. Maurer asked for the specific criteria that were used to make an acceptance determination, as well as how those criteria were then applied across all reviewed abstracts. Dr. Maurer stated that Division Z had a very high rate of non-accepted abstracts (12%) and he was concerned that this would discourage future submissions to the Division and also lead to member loss. He suggested that perhaps a Review Committee might be better suited to making an evaluation that the current system.

Dr. Walker noted that the highest rate of non-accepted abstracts was 14%, but many divisions had a 0% non-acceptance rate.  Dr. Walker stated that scientific quality needs to be upheld by leadership to maintain the reputation of the division and the ASM, and this means that when there is a review process, some abstracts will not be accepted. The Division Leadership meeting, held on Sunday, was aware of the disparity in acceptance rates between divisions and is moving to improve the quality of the abstracts that are accepted. Dr. Walker explained the ASM review process whereby the Chair-Elect reads the abstracts and recommends acceptance, swap, or non-acceptance to the Chair, who can concur or overrule. For the current review, the Division Advisor was also consulted. There is no "second chance" process; all decisions are final. The author is informed by ASM of the acceptance or non-acceptance of the abstract.  For the non-acceptance a reason  i

Dr. Walker (and others) pointed out that the ASM process does not allow for a Division to establish a separate review process. Dr. Curtiss pointed out that if there is a desire to change the process, then that should be brought to the attention of the Membership Board and/or the Meetings Board.

Dr. Thacker noted that the leadership changes each year, so if the membership is dissatisfied with a particular elected official, the election of someone else will provide a new perspective in subsequent years.

Dr. Carole Bolin raised an issue that affected veterinary diagnostic laboratories and asked whether Division Z might be able to help. Many labs are moving away from MIC tests (full dilution ranges) and even breakpoint ranges to disk diffusion. The reason, in addition to economic considerations, is that the end-users do not know how to evaluate an MIC. Dr. Bolin suggested that practical information on the application of an MIC value to drug selection, based on pharmacokinetic, mechanism of action, and other basic information, should be compiled in a handout, pocket card or website. This information would be useful to educate end-users of the relevance of MICs. Discussion of what role NCCLS, AAVLD, Division Z or industrial partners could play followed. Distribution of information could be done via the ASM News, ASM website, vet school distribution, diagnostic labs, or other means. Dr. Thacker agreed to follow up on this.

Dr. Walker reminded everyone to submit symposium ideas (conveners, topics, speakers) as soon as possible.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:50AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Thomas R. Shryock, Division Advisor


Last Modified: 06/13/03
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